Bridge City Guild Happy Hour Thursday, June 13th 6:00pm – 9:00pm The BeerMongers 1125 Southeast Division Street

Buried beneath the many layers of beer culture and events in Portland exists a team of men raising money by drinking beer.  These men shoot guns, swing golf clubs, raise families and probably work with you or someone you know. They lead in your church, manage your bars, serve your coffee and counsel your kids in school.

Embedded in their respective communities the members of The Bridge City Guild emerge monthly to share in the time-honored tradition of bonding over brews – with a purpose – by hosting a Happy Hour event... and you’re invited.

A quick visit to their website will reveal, “The Bridge City Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to unite fraternally with the purpose of enriching our lives by actively contributing our time, energy and enthusiasm to the betterment of our community.” This is a local chapter affiliated with The Benevolent Guild in Seattle. How they do this is what makes the benevolent mouth salivate.

Here’s how it works: A local or regional brewery partners with The Bridge City Guild to donate one of their beers to be featured in a Happy Hour Event. (The location of these events changes, migrating around the Portland area.) Once the date, location, and beer are locked down The Guild selects a local charity benefitting women and children to pair with the brewers donation. You show up, bring a few friends, meet The Guild members, drink a few beers and your money go to the featured charity. It’s that simple and the events are open to men and women. The Guild also holds charity events such as the upcoming golf tournament at Stone Creek July 28th benefitting Children’s Cancer Association.

Having attended a few of these events I have to say it’s an impressive display of coordination and cooperation between The Guild, the brewery, the venue and charity. The success of these events speaks to organization of The Guild and the spirit of the Oregon beer scene. Service can come from the tastiest places and if you’re going to drink beer, you might as well do something good while you’re at it.

Astoria Beer Adventure

The next Happy Hour event will be held at 7pm on the 13th of this month at The Beer Mongers in east Portland. Money raised will go to benefit Northwest Children’s Outreach. The kind brewery supplying the suds is Fort George Brewery of Astoria with their hard to find, easy to drink Spruce Budd Ale.

I recently took a drive out to Fort George to meet with Owner/Brewer Jack Harris and his awesome team of local craftsmen to sample direct from the kettle.

Fort George Brewery is a rapidly growing brewery with a great following. I’m seeing more of their unique tall cans popping up throughout Portland specialty beer shops and stores alike. The staff is knowledgeable and really into their craft. The samplers are generous leaving you with plenty to consider and I would recommend taking a tour when available. (See their site for times)

Their Belgian Quick Wit and Sunrise OPA are well-worth discovering and their Cavatica Stout pairs well with the lingering moods of a long, wet spring.  However, it was the cult-like following their Spruce Budd Ale has developed that had me filling up the tank for a taste.

Created from the gathering of spruce tips this ale has fought the sting of needles and shed any need for hops. The only other ingredient is Organic pilsner malt! The nose offers a deceptively citrusy characteristic yet when you sip this light, bright ale you really take the woods with you. The beer will obviously taste different when it is cold and carbonated, in other words, even better. It truly is unlike anything I’ve come across in my 12 years of consumption.

The idea that Fort George offers this up to The Guild’s Happy Hour event is a testament to their good nature. This beer has quite the following and even if you’re an Ebenezer with your funds you should smack the piggy for enough copper to go snag a pint while on tap at The Beer Mongers. Otherwise you’ll just have to take the trip out to Astoria leaving a missed opportunity to do good with draft fading in the rearview mirror, and that’s not cool. See you on the 13th.